The Genetic Impact of Ancient Sexual Arrangements

Time for a little break from defending and improving upon democracy. The Moldbugosphere enjoys indulging in the politically incorrect, and I have found a doozy for ya’ll. And it should be fun for those interested in alternative sexual arrangements and the economics thereof. Have a look at this article on Evolution in the Bible. Here’s a bit to whet your appetite:

Sex is rather pleasant. The blind, the cripple and the stupid enjoy it too. And so defective genes do propagate to the next generation unless we allow nature to weed them out. Welfare prevents the unpleasant culling, and I salute the process even as I admit the price. Besides, as long as welfare recipients breed at the same rate as taxpayers, we break even. The human race is good enough, no need for nasty eugenics programs.

But are we breaking even?

Hear the tale of two teenage girls, Sally and Ellie. Sally is diligent, studies hard, goes to college, practices safe sex or even abstinence (we need not investigate). After several years building a career like a modern woman should, she meets Mr. Right. They buy a home in the suburbs, and when their finances are finally in order, she manages with difficulty to bear 2.1 children before she gets too old.

Ellie, on the other hand, lives for the day. The teenage years are time to party hardy! And check out Joe Studly, with his snazzy clothes, James Dean stares and that sleek sportscar! Time to get busy while the hormones are hot, and those rubber thingies really kill the romance. Ellie gets big, Joe moves on looking for tight new hotties, and Uncle Sam has a new ward. Ellie’s value on the marriage market goes down considerably, but no problem. Uncle Sam pays the bills, and plenty of handsome hunks with steamy stares are ready to provide sperm donation services in between pregnancies. By the time Sally and Mr. Right are on child 2.1, Ellie is on bastard number 5 with a grandchild on the way.

Old Dr. Darwin says over time we will have more free-spirited Ellies living for the day and more Joe Studlys with great fashion sense and no conscience. After several generations we might run low on taxpayers to fund all those food stamps and housing projects. Then what?

Maybe we shouldn’t worry about it. What constitutes “fit” today may be unfit tomorrow. Maybe we will be hit with a massive plague, so a propensity for rapid breeding will be most critical for human survival. Maybe civilization will collapse, making today’s gang members more fit than today’s doctors, lawyers and dot-com millionaires. Maybe we’ll have GMO humans and designer babies to offset natural selection before too long. Maybe our robot overlords will take over all responsibilities: ambition and intellect will become liabilities; today’s welfare recipients are the prototypes for a brave new tomorrow. Maybe the Second Coming will happen before too many generations, so Christians should focus on charity and ignore genetics.

Or maybe societies with stricter breeding codes will conquer the decadent West, and we’ll all live under Sharia law, bringing us full circle. Don’t laugh; it’s already beginning in France.

The article goes on to point out how the Old Testament Law got around this genetic dilemma. It explains some of the more politically incorrect parts in terms of reconciling welfare system and longterm genetic viability for the Israelites. Might be worthy material for the Antiversity.

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evolution works more than one generation into the future.

Sally may have outbred Ellie in this generation, but having many children and devoting few resources to each of them doesn't compound over several generations. Ellie has a high chance of getting 2.4 grandchildren from each of her 2.4 children, and 2.4 great-grandchildren from each of her 4.8 grandchildren, etc. Sally on the other hand can expect few grandchildren per child, as they are more likely to be ill, to be killed by homicide or war, to be imprisoned, to be found generally undesirable as mates.

NB I'm not saying all people with many siblings are sickly freaks with a high chance of dying young, only that pumping out lots of kids you can't care for doesn't improve the chances of your genes being propagated out to the second or third generation much.

Sex is rather pleasant. The

Sex is rather pleasant. The blind, the cripple and the stupid enjoy it too.

TL;DR Moldbugs logorrheic screeds.

This guy's been watching

This guy's been watching Idiocracy, methinks....

http://xkcd.com/603/

Aye, Idiocracy immediately

Aye, Idiocracy immediately springs to mind.

Marching Morons

Just looked at the imdb page on Idiocracy. Looks like someone lifted the core plot idea from C.M. Kornbluth's "The Marching Morons."

Two observations, maybe three

First, the thread might be confusing evolution with social Darwinism. Evolution only predicts change. It doesn't predict the direction of the change. How might one measure the evolutionary fitness of a specie? By the length of time it has existed on this planet. So far, the most fit critter big enough to see without a lens is the cockroach. They have been around for millions of years.

Second, sentient beings don't evolve. If anything, modern science and ethics prevent nature from cleaning the gene pool. For example, if we were cut off from our meds half of the white breeds (race) would rapidly die off.

Third, in the bad old days, the local social contract prevented miscegenation and every other sort of mixing the gene pool because of religion, tribe, politics . . . . Each tribal group had to marry within the group.

For example, if there was a Irish Catholic Democrat tribe in a small city they would tend to stay by themselves. Or every big city had a Chinatown. So if a girl turned marriage age and all the first class male prospects were taken she would have to settle for a second class mate because of the social pressure to marry and have kids.

Now that the old customs are gone, on what basis will young people mate? I suggest on the basis of ambition, education, IQ and good appearance. The top prospects will pair up across all social lines and the losers will mate with losers.

I predict a self-segregation into an upper class and a serf class.

Mercifully, the premise is false.

The disparate behaviors of Sallie and Ellie are not at all likely to be genetically based. While personality traits are transmitted genetically, character traits are not. Man (or woman) is a being of self-made soul. Ellie is as likely as Sallie to recognize that her interests are not really served by becoming a dependent of the state, all other factors being equal. That is: Sally is diligent and responsible and Ellie not, only by the hypothesis of this article, and not by genetic makeup.

Of course if all other factors are not equal, e.g., Sallie is raise in an environment where personal achievement is valued while Ellie is raised in an environment where dependency is valued, Sallie will be more likely to value personal achievement and Ellie to value dependency. But neither will be determined by their environments as demonstrated by the reality of worthless children of high achievers and high-achieving children of worthless parents.

So the problem has nothing to do with genetics, Darwin, eugenics, or determinism after all and reduces to the question of whether we will be rational enough as a society to stop rewarding failure and punishing success, so as to put the incentives on the side of survival.

We need not worry that the wretched refuse of foreign genetic lines will take over America and turn us into a nation of wretched losers unless we first abandon the principles that made America the land of opportunity. They are spelled out in the Constitution, which never guaranteed the good life, but rather guaranteed that no one may infringe your right to pursue and sustain it in liberty.

SB7, I think you are wrong

SB7, I think you are wrong about grandchildren. Look at Africa, which has some of the worst problems with war, disease and so on. It has also had some of the highest rates of population growth.

RalphB, have you got a cite on the differential heritabilities of "personality" vs "character"? We shouldn't normally expect traits with large impact on fitness to be that heritable, since natural selection consumes the variance it depends on. But this article is claiming that the environment has changed relatively recently, altering the fitness of different strategies before evolution has had time to catch up. Also, I think America abandoned those principles quite a long time ago.

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